Jim Budd’s News From D.F.

Tides crowned as Viceroy

The Tides in Zihuatanejo, on Mexico’s Pacific coast, soon will be known as the Viceroy Zihuatanejo. The Tides began as Villa del Sol and helped convert  Zihuatanejo into a haven of luxury boutique resorts, in contrast to the bigger, more flashier places in neighboring Ixtapa. The Viceroy Hotel Group also operates a Viceroy at Mayakoba along the Riviera Maya on the Mexican Caribbean.

Alerts alert

Mexico’s Home Secretary or Secretario de Gobernación claims that U.S. State Department warnings cautioning Americans to avoid travel in nearly half of Mexico’s states is “ridiculous” and “out of proportion.”  Alejandro Poiré says million of tourists visit Mexico without incident. Adding that he

believes “these alerts overstate or misstate the standards and security situation that exists in our country. An updated travel warning on Feb. 8 urges travelers to “defer nonessential travel” to 14 of Mexico’s 31 states due to drug-related violence that has cost more than 47,500 lives since 2006. However,  warning also notes that “millions of U.S. citizens safely visit Mexico each year” and that resort areas are generally safer.

Mexicana mess

This week a bankruptcy court was expected to declare Mexicana Airlines legally dead and order that its assets be sold to satisfy creditors. Last minute offers to revive the carrier – grounded since August of 2010 – failed when required funds could not be produced. Nonetheless, the presiding judge ruled that the case will remain open indefinitely and ordered that slots being used provisionally by other airlines be returned. Volaris filed for an injunction against the ruling and Interjet has asked that the judge be replaced.

Love ya, babe!

DIN Interiorism has announced plans to refurbish what had been known as hoteles de paso into what it will call hoteles de amor, that is to say, love hotels. Although managers of more plush establishments long ago declared that they no longer were supervising morals and suggested a weekend in Cancun was more romantic than a box of candy, less posh places still offered enclosed garages – to shield couples from prying eyes — for rooms rented by the hour, attitudes have changed in the 21st Century. Love hotels will feature toys for adults, games and swimming pools with waterfalls. At the outset, some 35 inns with a total of more than 2,000 rooms are planned. All will be remodeled hot pillow joints.

Franchises thriving

According to the Mexican Hotel Association, 90 percent of all chain hotels in the country are franchises. And expansion is planned. InterContinental, which includes Holiday Inn, expects to add 47 more properties to its list in the next few months. Mexico’s own Posadas is looking at 50 while Grupo Santa Fe, which operates Hilton hotels in Mexico, has plans for Puerto Vallarta, Guadalajara and more.

Tequila choo-choo

Vacationers in Guadalajara now have a choice of two trains that will take them to where tequila is made. New is the José Cuervo Express, which makes an evening run starting on Fridays at 5:30 and returning shortly after midnight. On Saturdays and Sundays, the train leaves at 11, bound for the José Cuervo Center in the town of Tequila. Another choice is the Tequila Express, which has been operating for several years now. It goes to th Herradura distillery. Fare includes drinks, food and entertainment that are featured on both runs. With the exception of the Chihuahua-Pacific train running by the Copper Canyon, Mexico has no passenger train service.